Archive | July, 2012

Is Employee Management via Text Okay?

19 Jul

I consider myself a tech geek.  I don’t have to have every new gadget, but I believe I’m near the cutting edge.  I use new ideas in tech all the time; however I have started to see a trend that bothers me, managing employees via text.   Have we reached a point where (to me) an impersonal text is accepted way to manage employees?

I have been around long enough to see two-way radios, beepers, alpha-numeric pagers, bag cell phones, cell phones, Push to talk cell phones, and email.  All these devices were tools to facilitate faster communications, saving time, and money. Even with all these improvements face to face conversations were still the norm for totally private (or secure) information.  I was told repeatedly to be a good manager you had to develop your communication or people skills.

Four workers in Britain were fired via text in March 2007.   “The message, which each of the four received had said, “Due to the lack of professionalism and poor overall performance of the Chester office, I have no option but to let u go,” It went on to say “Ur pay wil be calculated and paid on pay day. U are not required to go into the office. All belongings wil be sent to u.” (Duffy, Michelle.  http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/138840#ixzz20up8muXD).  I can’t even believe a manager could even think of sending a text like this.

I believe text may be okay for some things.  I just can’t think of any.  I am old fashioned in I want to at least hear a voice when I am asking for something to be done.  Let me know what you think.  Please post your comments below, on Twitter, or email.

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Who should be on Your Entrepreneurial Team?

9 Jul

Entrepreneurs believe they have to do everything themselves.  It is true in they need to oversee the entire project and make sure it is going the direction they want it to go.  However, you’re going to need people to help you take care of the areas of your business that you can’t.  Legal and Accounting are the first to come to mind.  Other areas that I include on my Entrepreneurial Team are:

  • Logo/Artwork
  • Website Administrator
  • Reality Check Network

Logo/Artwork is self-explanatory.  I am a slightly below poor artist, so I pay a professional to help me out.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive professional designer.  I have known Entrepreneurs’ who used someone from fiver.com or an art student at a local college.  I have been lucky to have some good artist’s in my family and friends to help me out.

I run my own website through Dot-easy.  It is fairly simple to do, but I have a couple of real Website designers/operators in my network.  It is great to have someone to help me out when I get in over my head.  Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive.  I have done some writing for them in exchange for them helping me.

Reality Check Network is the most valuable team member I have.  This is a group of Entrepreneurs who have been successful with their own businesses.  I have connected with them through chance meetings, Chamber events, LinkedIn, Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter.  These people know what it takes to be successful.  I run ideas by them to see what they think.  Don’t do this step if you’re not ready for BRUTAL HONESTY.  They know what works and aren’t shy about saying so.  They provide a Reality Check to try to keep me from making a big mistake.

These are the members of my Entrepreneurial Team.  Who are the members of Your Team?  I would love to know your thoughts about who should be on the team.  Please leave your comments below, on Twitter, or e-mail.

Being an Entrepreneur means managing yourself

6 Jul

When people ask what I do and I reply, “an Entrepreneur,” they invariably reply with “must be nice to be your own boss.”  It is true.  It is great to be my own boss.  It is also the worst thing because I have to manage myself to get everything done.  I constantly have to prioritize my tasks to make sure things moving along so I can get paid.

I am sure my daily schedule of tasks is not very different from yours.  There is a wide variety of personal, business, and family tasks that must be done each day to keep things on track.   A lot of people use fancy electronic planner systems or complicated (to me) Name Brand Planner systems.  I just use a blank one month per page calendar printed from MS Word and two note pads (one paper and one on my smartphone).

  1. The month calendar gets meetings, bill due dates, family appointments, etc. put on it as a reminder of what is up coming.
  2. Each evening I take the paper note pad and make a list of everything I need to accomplish the next day.  I refer to my monthly calendar to see if I need to be working on a project or have meetings or appointments.
  3. I use the note pad on my smartphone to jot down notes on the go.  I then transfer them to my paper list.  This way I only have to keep one calendar and one to do list updated each day.

This simple and easy system allows me to plan and concentrate on the most important tasks and keeps the lesser ones from falling through the cracks.

In all the years I have used this system, I have never had an assignment sneak up on me.  I may have procrastinated in doing the assignment, but I knew it was coming.  The bonus is I don’t have to remember to sync any device to another one and if I misplace my smartphone I have not lost everything.

This is the same system I learned in college 23 years ago.  As the story goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it.  I used to carry a spiral note pad in my shirt pocket (yes, I was/am a nerd), but have modernized some using the smartphone, albeit only in the last year.

I encourage you to comment on this.  I am always looking for a better system; I just haven’t found it yet.

As always, please remember to follow me on Twitter and visit my website.